Memorial Day — a tribute to our fallen men and women

Memorial Day is Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day is a unique observance

Flag display on Memorial Day differs from other half-staff observations.
In accordance with United States Code, 2006, Supplement 1, Title 4 — which was enacted in 1947 — Chapter 1,

"The flag, when flown at half-staff, should be first hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. On Memorial Day the flag should be displayed at half-staff until noon only, then raised to the top of the staff."

According to traditional observance, the half-staff position is intended to honor over one million men and women who have died in the service of their country. At noon, the raising of the flag to the peak is symbolic of the pledge of the living, who resolve to continue the pursuit of liberty and justice for all.

This year, we are pleased to share some of the many moving photographs from Arlington National Cemetery that have been made available by the United States Department of Defense and the Wikimedia Commons as a tribute to our nation's lost soldiers.

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A U.S. Army Specialist with the 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns, places a U.S. flag at the foot of one of the four crypts at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony was performed to honor Service members ahead of Memorial Day weekend.
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Old Guard Infantry places American flags during the annual Flags In event.
Old Guard Infantry places American flags at headstones in Arlington National Cemetery for Memorial Day.
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A military funeral procession in Arlington National Cemetery, 1967.
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A caisson arrives during a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery for a United States Air Force Major General.
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The Old Guard's Caisson Platoon transports a flag-draped casket at Arlington National Cemetery.
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A U.S. Army 1st Lieutenant places a rose on his father's casket during a service at Arlington National Cemetery.
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U.S. soldiers with the honor guard attached to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment lower a casket into a grave site at Arlington National Cemetery.
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A United States Marine Corps Sergeant salutes as a casket is lowered during a funeral ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Members of the U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment "The Old Guard," fire cannon salutes at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Decorated graves at Arlington National Cemetery.
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Arlington National Cemetery.
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Arlington National Cemetery.
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Arlington National Cemetery — the Arlington House with the United States flag at half-staff.
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Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Setting the tone for Memorial Day

In 1868, Major General John A. Logan declared May 30 to be the official observation date of Memorial Day. But five years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address and, in the span of a few minutes, clarified that the purpose and duty of every American is to live and work so that the mortal sacrifices of our fallen soldiers are not in vain . . .

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
Thursday, November 19, 1863 — Four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Photo call!

Send us your pictures of Memorial Day festivities, American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

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Have a great day, from your friends at LIBERTY FLAGS, The American Wave®.


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